This has gone on long enough. 4,033 days from Sunday(December 28, 1996), the Cowboys won a game that mattered. A game in the post season. A game when the world is watching.
The only teams in the NFL who have a longer playoff drought are an undesirable lot including Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Detroit. Not the who’s who of NFL greatness, is it?
So, here come the New York Giants. Our hated foe. And despite Romo controversy, Owens’ sprained ankle, and Eli’s canonization, the game will go on as scheduled at 3:30 pm on Sunday. A win puts you one win from the Super Bowl. A loss puts you in utter chaos.
In July, I had the opinion that a season that included a playoff win must be considered a successful campaign around here given the long drought. I certainly don’t feel strongly about that now. The fact is, the Cowboys should go to the Super Bowl. They will be heavily favored in both of their home playoff games, and if they win them both, they will be in Glendale, Arizona.
But, first things first. The Giants. There is lot to be concerned about in this game, but regardless of the many areas in which the Giants concern me, I think there are still three truths:
1) It will take 28 points or more to win this game.
2) You cannot score 28 points unless you throw the ball down field.
3) Eli Manning cannot throw down field, without making a costly error.
“Eli’s Arrival” was based on a severely conservative game plan in Tampa, and he never threw the ball past 10 yards. That can’t happen here, I don’t believe. The Cowboys defense needs to take the game to Eli, and I believe they will.
Meanwhile, I believe Terrell will play, and play relatively well. I also believe Tony Romo will be locked in, and MB3 will help lead another physical ground performance. Like the first two meetings, it will be scary close after 45 minutes, but in the end, I like the Cowboys, 28-20.
Time to forge your own tradition around here, young Cowboys.
Peter King’s Take …
New York (11-6) at Dallas (13-3)
While we prattle on endlessly about Terrell Owens' bum leg and Tony Romo's travel habits and Eli Manning's sudden striking imitation of his older brother, we miss the real story of this game: Marion Barber. The Giants are rushing the passer too well right now for Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett to think Mark Columbo can stop Michael Strahan and Flozell Adams to shut out Osi Umenyiora. Even though the Cowboys did a good job conserving Barber's strength during the season (he averaged only 12.8 rushes per game, maddening for some Cowboy fans dying to see him rush it 25 times weekly), it's money time now. And this Brahma bull lugging it somewhere in the twenties is the best chance for Dallas to win and advance. Having said that, if the Giants protect Manning and this seventh-round gift from heaven (Marshall running back Ahmad Bradshaw was the sixth-to-last pick of the draft, a Giants' compensatory pick) continues to run like a meteor possessed, this game has the best upset potential of the weekend.
Dallas 19, New York Giants 13
DR Z’s all-pro team …
In case you aren’t tired of it yet, Terry Bradshaw weighs in on the Mexican Vacation …
Bradshaw, a former NFL quarterback himself, isn't overly prim or overly proper. Just puzzled.
"For an athlete, there's no time off ... until it's over," said Bradshaw, who won four Super Bowl rings with Pittsburgh. "You don't take a mental break.
"Tony is obviously different than me. He's one of the young kids who wears his cap on backward. It's cool. And God bless him. I like the heck out of Tony Romo. I just wouldn't have done what he did ... I couldn't allow my mind to go there."
This isn't a Trappist monk. Or someone who blushes easily.
This is Bradshaw. And unless you've spent the past 14 autumns in a cave, you've probably noticed there is no shortage of snide remarks, friendly jabs or light-hearted banter among Jimmy, Howie and Terry on Fox NFL Sunday.
"We're not splittin' atoms. We're not savin' lives," Bradshaw said of the wildly popular NFL hour. "Let 'em laugh at us ... and let's laugh at ourselves."
The Fox pregame concept seems to work, unlike Travels with Romo.
Said Bradshaw: "If only Tony had called me and said, 'Terry, Jessica and I are going to go to Mexico,' I would've told him: 'You crazy? Don't do that! The paparazzi is going to find you, man. You're a star. She's a star. It's just going to happen.' "
Romo & friends ended up on the "money picture" end of a long-lens camera. What was Tony thinking?
"Everybody in Dallas knows you played horribly when Jessica showed up [against Philadelphia]," said Bradshaw, who splits time between his Westlake home and his Oklahoma ranch near the Texas border.
"OK, now what if you play poorly [against the Giants]? You haven't exactly lit up the place lately. I don't understand. Why set yourself up?"
Definitely, there now is "more pressure on Romo and the Cowboys" than on Eli Manning and the Giants, Bradshaw said.
"No way that I would ever, ever do what Tony did," Bradshaw said. "I mean, I can have my picture taken with movie stars when the season is over."
Sunday may be a job for Al Pacino:
I have not written about this on the blog, and it would take me several pages to write all of my thoughts and feelings, but I did want to get it on the record. I love Greggo. I miss Greggo. And I wish it wasn’t over. But it is over. …so now we must move along…
Greg Williams and The Ticket officially parted company Thursday. Williams, co-host of the Hardline since KTCK-AM (1310) went on the air in January 1994, "resigned" according to a news release issued by the station. Williams walked off the top-rated show in mid-October and never returned. Williams did not return a message left on his cellphone.
So Long, Hammer.